SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) – Brazen thieves caught on camera stealing expensive merchandise from stores are following a pattern, according to police.
The suspects were recorded loading up their carts with items such as laundry detergent and flat screen TVs in towns such as Oxford and Southington.
CT State Police said they have identified some of the suspects believed to have stolen shopping carts full of items from an Oxford store earlier this week.
Then, they simply walked out of the store with them.
One of the latest thefts happened at the BJ’s on Spring Street in Southington.
Suspects were caught on surveillance video loading several TVs onto a cart and then just walking out the door.
Just this past year, police said they responded to 14 thefts at the BJ’s, and half of them happened between Oct. 2 and now.
They said it hasn’t been exclusive to BJ’s in Southington. Similar cases reported at Stop & Shop and ShopRite, and other incidents were reported in Oxford.
Last week, people were caught on camera loading grocery carts full of items into a car and driving away.
“It’s absurd. I think it’s absurd,” said Southington resident Roxanne Martin.
Residents on Tuesday night told Channel 3 that the thefts left them feeling uneasy.
“I was scared walking in tonight,” Martin said. “I thought ‘Okay, this is a good, well-lit spot.’”
Police said the stealing sprees are becoming more common.
SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) – Brazen shoplifting incidents where people just walk out of stores with hundreds of dollars of items as others look on.
Law enforcement expert Lisa Dadio previously told Channel 3 that police first started to see an increase during the pandemic.
Her and other experts said viral videos have inspired copycats. They also said another contributing factor is that suspects often get away with it.
“They’re just going in and stealing, and pushing people and hurting people and stealing cars, and stealing food and it’s horrible,” Martin added.
Police said they are still working to figure out of the incidents at BJ’s and in Southington are connected to the similar cases in Oxford.